I try to incorporate as much probiotics in our diet as possible to keep us all happy and healthy. Probiotics are good bacteria and yeast that lives in the intestines. Our bodies have more than 100 trillion bacteria so its very important to have a healthy gut. Studies show that there is a strong link between intestinal flora and the brain, in other words, depression can be caused by a dysfunctional ecosystem.
Many people may have an imbalanced flora fauna in the stomach, and might not realize it. A big cause can be from a course of prescribed antibiotics, which wipe out good and bad bacteria. Implementing probiotics into your daily routine can cure all sorts of ailments and conditions, from IBS to eczema, even surprising claims of OCD and cancer. The balancing act our gut plays not only affects our daily movements, but also our daily moods. With all of the antibiotics we are prescribed and the weird ingredients in processed foods, GMOs, etc., it is no wonder so many people suffer symptoms or food allergies. Our guts may be in turmoil, and aren’t we all “what we eat?” Some of the best and easiest ways to get some good bacteria in there is fermented foods!
I am a huge believer in the power of naturally fermented foods. My husband always suffered from IBS, and between a vegan diet and implementing some probiotics into his life, it is a thing of the past. Some easy ways to get some good bacteria that will not only boost your immune system but also your energy are;
- Kombucha – This fizzy drink is like a healthy soda, it cures the craving and fixes your gut! I had not been exposed to it until living in Bend. Kombucha is served on draught at every gas station and pub. It is made by fermenting tea with bacteria and yeast. There is a trace amount of caffeine, less than a normal cup of tea, the process of fermentation reduces the caffeine. It also doesn’t hurt to know that it is an ancient tonic that has been used for over 3,000 years to cure all sorts of ailments. With so many options, including home brews, here are some of my favorites I recommend you give a try; Brew Dr. Kombucha (a bigger brand name that is often my go to, I like the Lemon Ginger-Cayenne, Mitch likes the Nutritonic), Caboost Kombucha (smaller batch, local here in Bend, I like the Ruby-Basil, Mitch’s go to is the R&R). I generally look for low sugar content when I try a new booch.
- Saurkraut or Kim Chee – Trillions more bacteria than a full bottle of probiotic pills. I think this has to be one of the healthiest items you can include in your diet. It is so easy and fun to make your own sauerkraut or kim chee at home too! Just buy an organic head of cabbage, chop it up and soak it with salt for a bit, then squeeze into a mason jar and seal it up for a week. It is so yummy! Add some spices and make it interesting!
- Probiotic Almond milk and vegan yogurt – A classic way to start the day and get a huge boost in healthy bacteria.
- Tempeh – Fermented soybeans that are magically delicious. From tempeh bacon BLTs to homemade meat substitute crumbles, there are many ways to enjoy this dish that is an Indonesian staple. It has the same total level of calcium absorbed as cow’s milk. It is of course also an excellent source of healthy bacteria and a list of vitamins; fiber, protein, B2, magnesium, and more. I once soaked a tempeh patty in franks red hot, and grilled it over a camp fire to make a spicy “chicken” sandwich. Mitch soaked his in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, and other spices and was equally an easy delicious burger substitute.
- Next time you happen to be in Hawaii make sure you enjoy some Poi! A Hawaiian staple abundant with healthy bacteria.
The list could go on, I highly recommend reading up on fermented foods and the healthy benefits you can reap by eating these delicious goodies. A favorite book of mine that I highly recommend is “The Essential Book of Fermentation” by Jeff Cox, it is a very intriguing and informative book.
Enjoy your happy bellys! 🙂
- 1/2 C Kale
- 2 Frozen bananas
- 1/2 C Frozen blueberries
- 1 C Probiotic Cultured Almond Milk
- 1 Banana sliced
- 1 Kiwi sliced
- A handful of Rawnola
- A handful of dried coconut flakes
- Blend together all of the ingredients until a smooth consistency.
- You may have to pulse, shake, or pulse and stir a few times to get it all blended.
- Top with toppings; sliced banana, kiwi, a handful of Rawnola, and coconut flakes.